Paolo Nani & Kristjan Ingimarsson, The Art of Dying

Review in Issue 16-1 | Spring 2004

Paulo Nani is back at the Mime festival again but with a new show and a pal, Kristjan Ingimarsson. The Art of Dying commences with two clown soldiers marching, eccentric dancing and messing around with a wooden gun. They finish, and go backstage, which is on stage but played as if they were backstage, and with pre-recorded audience noises they wait for the applause to build and then go out front of stage. This is the framework for the show, the acts onstage and the backstage relationship between the two clowns. Then Nani receives news: he has cancer (an X-ray). The art of dying for a clown begins. But unfortunately the scenes portraying pathos were not played convincingly. It became unclear, poorly acted and was a great shame as the show needed depth to contrast the wonderful array of gags and expert play.

The best bits were the game playing. An example of this was the lunch backstage: it became another act playing with skill and surprise with the everyday routine of eating. Miniature circus feats with cutlery and an apple ensue. There was a lot of joy in watching the two prepare for the next act – the Flamenco dance. Ingimarsson taunts Nani by not letting him get to his costume through the curtains. The two clowns (one now in a dress) play with the stylised dance and a rose, all with an edge of conflict. Overall it was an enjoyable show attempting to humorously look at how a clown dies. The end lost me, and the dying part of The Art of Dying… well, died. But the movement, precision, and quality and number of gags were a joy to see.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-1
p. 24